53rd Latino Leaders Network Luncheon Brings Local Leaders Together in San Jose


by Linda Castillo

On March 21, 2018 the 53rd Latino Leaders Network Luncheon was held at the Fairmont Hotel in Downtown San Jose. This luncheon is a part of a series of events by the Latino Leaders Network, a non-profit organization founded by the honorable Mickey Ibarra in 2004. The mission of the organization is dedicated to “Bringing Leaders Together” to establish relationships, build unity, and foster dialogue on issues important to the community.

Ron Gonzales, President and CEO of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, was the community partner to help bring this phenomenal event for the first time to San Jose. During his time in office as Mayor of San Jose, Ron worked closely with Mickey when he served as the Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House as a member of President Clinton’s senior staff. In his remarks, Ron congratulated all the attendees that they had just completed Mickeyism #4 to “Show Up!” from Mickey’s book Mickeyisms: 30 Tips for Success.

And that is exactly what over 260 Latino leaders did today- they showed up! The ballroom was filled with energy as elected officials, policy makers, corporate executives, opinion leaders, community activists, industry experts, and professionals connected.

The event honored Maria Echaveste with the presentation of the Eagle Leadership Award for making a significant impact on the lives of Latinos living in the United States. Maria, daughter of Mexican migrant farm workers shared her personal story of obstacles overcome to achieve success becoming the first person of color to serve as the Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for President Clinton from 1998 to 2001.

“In essence, what I want them to do is to be inspired by the personal story they hear today,” said Mickey about what he hoped attendees would takeaway from the luncheon. “Maria Echaveste, our honoree, is the only Latino/Latina in the history of the United States to serve as a deputy chief of staff to the president of the United States. She has a powerful story that she will share. I want folks to leave inspired, uplifted and motivated. That if it happened to her it can happen to me. If I’ll prepare myself for opportunities that perhaps they can’t even dream of yet. Dream big and never give up.”

In addition to hearing Maria’s moving and inspirational keynote speech, every attendee received a complimentary signed copy of Mickey’s new book Latino Leaders Speak: Personal Stories of Struggle and Triumph, featuring the powerful personal stories of national Latino leaders.

Click here to view more photos of event.

Note: All images courtesy of Latino Leaders Network.

Linda Castillo is the Founder and Executive Editor of www.ModernLatina.com. She writes on topics that empower and inspire Latinas including art, motherhood, green living, culture, travel, and issues transforming the Latino community. Linda has earned a B.S. in Business and a M.S. in Mass Communications from San Jose State University.